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Found 25 results

  1. Photos prises par moi le dimanche 28 septembre. Link to full set on Flickr here.
  2. "Approximately 53 per cent of the population do not reach the necessary threshold to function properly in a society that each year is becoming increasingly complex. And among that percentage, 19 per cent are unable to read and write." What the heck... I knew that half the population had difficulties reading a single article, but wow... 19% are unable to read and write? Discuss please. link: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/09/08/illiteracy-in-quebec_n_8100450.html
  3. Une grosse mise à jour sur le site skyscraperpage.com, concernant les diagrams pour Montreal. ( nouveaux dessins et ajouts de buildings ) link : http://skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?cityID=22
  4. A bridge in Mumbai Halfway to paradise A half-built bridge symbolises the urgency and the frustrations of improving India’s infrastructure Dec 22nd 2012 |From the print edition N 1988, when V.S. Naipaul arrived in Bombay, now known as Mumbai, and drove south from its airport, he could tell something unusual was happening because the traffic was so bad. It turned out that a festival of Dalits, the former untouchables, had led to crowds that blocked the roads. The Nobel-prizewinning writer complained of “fumes and heat and din” in his taxi to the Taj Hotel. The chaos was novel enough to form the opening passage of his book, “A Million Mutinies Now”. Today greater Mumbai’s population has almost doubled to 18m, and transport bedlam has become as integral to its psyche as the stockmarket, films and slums. Millions endure commutes that would qualify them for post-traumatic-stress counselling in rich countries. Rush-hour trains get so crushed that a phone or pair of glasses carried in a breast pocket will smash under the pressure of bodies. Every year perhaps 500 people perish after falling off trains in the city and 6,000 die on the tracks. If, like Mr Naipaul, you can afford a taxi, it will reek of sweat and honk and buck for inches of advantage against bigger cars, which under a Darwinian highway code have bullying rights. After monsoon storms the sewers overflow and the roads flood. On nights like this endless lines of vehicles crawl in the dark and you can hear the slop lapping on your car’s underbelly, like waves on a dinghy’s hull. But if you divert from Mr Naipaul’s route, by a creek at a place called Mahim, and turn west, you can take a different trip. Time leaps forward. India becomes China, or even Singapore. The swarm of autorickshaws fades and, after pausing at a toll booth, you find yourself on an eight-lane motorway running parallel with the coast, floating high over the sea on 120 piers, and suspended on wires from two 128-metre towers. The bridge is called the Sea Link and opened in 2009. If you open the window the air is fresh; if you put your foot down you can hit racing speed. From the bridge Mumbai’s berserk skyline seems hazy; the 23 sets of traffic lights and 40 minutes of furious traffic you are bypassing are like a bad dream. The Portuguese fort and aboriginal fishing village that you zip past feel about as real as the scenery of a Disneyland ride. For that matter, can it truly be possible that after just 4.7km, or about five minutes, all eight lanes of this glorious bridge stop in mid-air—as if King Kong had bitten them off? But alas, it is. If you keep going you will plunge into the Arabian Sea. Instead a narrow slip road delivers you back to the city. The shift is disorienting. As your car battles for space again and you pass a Dalit slum, perhaps housing the children of the folk Mr Naipaul saw, it is tempting to look back. What just happened? Viewed from the Sea Link, Mumbai seems like a mirage. But seen from the chaos of the city, it is the Sea Link that is improbable, like a giant hologram. Decent infrastructure and this megacity, maybe this country, do not belong together. Do they? Dream on If any country needs better infrastructure, it is fast-urbanising India. The government hopes a trillion dollars will be spent between 2012 and 2017, although with a creaking banking sector and jumpy investors that is optimistic. If any megacity needs better transport, it is Mumbai. Formed from seven islands, the city was given by Portugal to Charles II of England in 1661 as dowry for his marriage to Catherine of Braganza. It is a long spit whose hub is at its southern tip. Manhattan has 16 bridges, four underwater tunnels and a ferry system linking it to the mainland. Mumbai has just six bridges, all but one at its northern extremity. Two main roads, three railway lines and an airport besieged by shanty towns are its fragile links to the outside world. The city centre is like a head on a long, strangled neck. The difficulty of commuting is partly why Mumbai is so densely populated, with property prices driven high and migrants forced into slums, which now house over half the population. There are only a handful of successful state-sponsored developments: a satellite city on the mainland called Navi (New) Mumbai, some flyovers and a new office park built on marshland near the airport. What Mumbai has been unable to do in practice, it has done in theory. The first master plan to relieve the city’s woes emerged in 1948, the most recent in 2011. In the six decades in between some fine minds, from J.R.D. Tata, a revered industrialist, in 1981, to McKinsey, a consulting firm, in 2003, have had their say. There is widespread agreement on what is required. First, a road round the city’s perimeter—probably a series of Sea Link-style bridges along its entire west coast, and on its east coast a highway partly to be built on land occupied by the city’s dying old port. Second, to link this ring to the mainland, a 22km road over the sea, an idea known as the “trans-harbour link”. Third, near the end of this putative bridge, on the mainland, a new airport. And fourth, at least nine metro lines in the city itself. You can get a flavour of this Utopia in the offices of one of the many government agencies responsible for projects in Maharashtra, the state Mumbai belongs to. A huge, Lego-for-adults model built by a Singaporean firm shows the city centre bisected by an elevated bridge that sweeps in from the ocean. Vast new skyscrapers tower over the Art Deco and colonial buildings. Today’s shabby military cantonment is a nature park. Metro stations are everywhere. Jetties for ferries are abundant. A slum has become a “heritage village” with yachts moored beside it. The sea is blue, the grass is green and the buildings are spotless white. All of it is made up. Indeed of all the transport mega-projects planned for Mumbai, after decades of reports and committees, only one is in use: that surreal 4.7km stretch of the Sea Link. Kafka in Bombay What has gone wrong? One view can be heard on the wasteland at the north abutment of the Sea Link. A ragged family are smashing reinforced concrete rubble. They say they get about a dollar for every two kilos of steel inside—roughly the cost of a one-way Sea Link ticket. Nearby, dogs and feral pigs sniff around abandoned machinery as Girish, aged 52, hits the bottle with his colleagues. The pals work nights in a call centre selling Americans an erectile-dysfunction drug. “You get a quick recharge,” is the sales pitch; the most common response, they all agree, is “Fuck you”. They also agree that this derelict land is a fine spot to unwind. Yet the rumour, which seems to have originated in the nearby slum, is that it has been grabbed secretly by a tycoon to build a mall, or luxury flats; the details vary. A local priest (a church was built nearby in 1575) talks suspiciously of the “fantasy” that any such project could ever benefit the common man. In fact, the land is still owned by the government. But the conspiracy theory that Mumbai is essentially a stitch-up by the rich is not propounded only by drunk cold-callers and men of the cloth. It may be the most widely held belief in the city. Its grandest iteration is that the city’s elite has deliberately sabotaged its transport infrastructure to enrich themselves. The argument goes like this: better transport would lower the scarcity premium on land and property in downtown Mumbai, hurting builders’ profits, and in turn curbing the flow of bribes to India’s political parties. The idea that the rich control the city’s fate was fuelled by a battle in 2005-08 between Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, and his estranged brother, Anil, over a tender to build the trans-harbour link. After a legal tussle Anil undercut his brother by bidding for a concession of nine years and 11 months. The tender process was eventually abandoned. Mumbai is certainly corrupt in other ways. The chief minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, who wants to clean things up, speaks of a nexus of builders and politicians. One official reckons illegal gains of $5 billion a year have been made by builders bribing their way around planning rules. “Those bastards have ruined everything” by scaring off legitimate firms, says one boss. But the grand conspiracy theory is silly. Mukesh Ambani owns a chunk of land near the proposed new airport, the value of which would soar if the trans-harbour link were built. Builders are buying space near proposed metro stations. And without good transport links the population of south Mumbai has begun to decline, which should be bad for property prices. Most businesspeople say the city’s decay is an embarrassment. The truth is fiddlier—as the half-built Sea Link demonstrates. The bridge was commissioned in 1999 but took ten years to finish, instead of the planned two and a half. Ajit Gulabchand, the boss of HCC, the construction firm that won the contract to build it, says the project was “a Kafkaesque struggle”. He describes himself as a “south Bombay boy” and drives a Bentley through the city to his office in the north-east (he does not use the Sea Link because there are no good connections between the west and the east). He is also subject, like all tycoons, to a secondary conspiracy theory, which is that he gained by being close to Sharad Pawar, who heads a Maharashtrian political clan. Mr Gulabchand says this is rubbish. “I’m not going to deny my friendship,” he says. But, “If I’m so powerful, how come I lost money?” One recent fiasco involved a military convoy doing a U-turn, a naval ambulance, a man in flip-flops with a red flag, and thousands of angry drivers The bridge’s original budget was $74m at current exchange rates, which rose to double that (officials verify these figures). Mr Gulabchand says he is still owed around $100m. The rising cost reflects a deep problem: delays. After construction began the cash-starved road agency in charge, MSRDC, changed the plan from eight lanes to four and back to eight again. The council took an age to release the land needed to house machinery (near where the call-centre employees relax). Maritime rules banned work during the monsoon. Customs held up the import of a 5,400-tonne floating crane. Subsea telecoms cables were found in the wrong place. Old folk living nearby griped about noise pollution. Those are the kind of problems big projects face everywhere. But other hurdles were peculiarly Indian. In a 107-year-old house in the fishing village the bridge passes over at its southern end sits Vijay Worlikar, one of the “nine Patils”, or clan chiefs, who in effect run the area. He is a Koli, an aboriginal people who have been there for centuries; he has childhood memories of Iranian boats sailing to the village to trade pistachios for dried fish. “This land is our land,” he says. Mr Worlikar successfully campaigned to shift the bridge farther from the village, and for a second suspended section to be built to create a channel for the fishing fleet to sail underneath. His legal objections, along with other environmental complaints, caused years of delays. Yet he is a modern man: his daughter is a doctor and his son an executive at the airport. He blames sloppy planning. He says he is now helping the state build relations with other fishing villages in the city to try to avoid further fiascos. Cutting red tape and winning public support would be easier with political leadership. The Sea Link was opened, with a firework display, by Sonia Gandhi, the dynast of India’s ruling Congress Party, and was officially named after her assassinated husband, Rajiv. However, consistent with the rule that the more politicians celebrate a finished project, the less they did to make it happen, the Sea Link had earlier been left out to dry. Mr Gulabchand says that after the state government changed in 1999 and an energetic minister left, the plan had no sponsor to bulldoze through bureaucracy. Maharashtra’s ruling coalition since 1999, of the Congress Party and the NCP, often squabbles over who runs big projects. The politicians have rural vote banks and are afraid, as one official puts it, “to be seen to neglect the rural man”. Mr Gulabchand thinks Mumbai needs more political accountability: “The Sea Link would not have been delayed if there was a mayor responsible for doing it. His re-election would have depended on it.” For the time being, such a change in the city’s governance seems unlikely. Mumbai’s biggest secret To grow fast India needs lots more infrastructure. But lately spending has been falling. The central bank thinks that the value of envisioned projects dropped by 52% in 2011-12. The slump reflects worries about red tape, corruption and doubts about the profitability of public-private partnerships (PPPs). In Mumbai it is easy to despair. “The whole spirit of doing things has gone,” says Mr Gulabchand. Five kilometres south of Mr Worlikar’s village is a fenced plot by the sea where men sit on plastic seats, apparently anticipating, like actors in a production of “Waiting for Godot”, the next section of the Sea Link to arrive. It could be a while. The winner of a PPP project to build and run it, Anil Ambani, has got cold feet. A political tussle has erupted, with the NCP keen to build a bridge using public funds and Congress preferring a road on reclaimed land. Nothing may happen for years. Yet, just as the Sea Link manages those 4.7km of elevated bliss, some projects are moving. Beneath a hill owned by an atomic research agency in north Mumbai, roaring diggers have almost finished excavating two half-kilometre-long tunnels. Outside, in both directions, the ghastly task of clearing slums has been accomplished and their residents moved to blocks of flats nearby. This is part of Mumbai’s best-kept secret—the Eastern Freeway, a new road stretching all the way down the city’s east coast, on the opposite side from the Sea Link, using tunnels and stilts. It should open in 2013, about five years after work began. J.R. Dhane, an engineer on the project, says it has been like painstakingly weaving a thread through the city’s dense fabric. Elsewhere the first metro line is almost finished, its platforms inches away from living-room windows, an experimental monorail is coming up, and a new round of bids is set to begin on a contract to build and operate a $2 billion trans-harbour link. These projects are all being run by the MMRDA, a state development body that has stepped into the vacuum. It owns land worth $12 billion, which it sells to help finance projects, and is viewed as clean and technocratic. Its boss, Rahul Asthana, says that progress is being made, but seems cautious about the city making a Shanghai-style great leap forward. In all probability Mumbai will do enough to prevent a crisis, but not enough to fulfil its vast potential or quickly transform the quality of most of its people’s lives. The same is true of infrastructure across India. And what of that 4.7km stretch of the Sea Link, stranded out there, all alone? The bridge is in good nick but seems to be run poorly by the road agency, MSRDC (its chief declined interview requests). Vehicle numbers are thought to be half those expected. The financial impact is hard to assess: the most recent annual report on the agency’s website is from 2008. Waiting for Utopia Meanwhile the toll-booth system has become a slapstick affair, with a maze of concrete chicanes prone to collapse, complex cash fares and overstaffed booths. Usually receipts are printed, but occasionally they are hand-stamped on the kind of paper used for bingo tickets. Accusations of graft swirl. An electronic swipe system has apparently been introduced but seems to be available only to VIPs. After a suicide jump in August it emerged that the CCTV system to help stop terrorist attacks was not working properly. One recent fiasco involved a military convoy doing a U-turn on the bridge, a naval ambulance, a man in flip-flops with a red flag like a Formula One race official, and thousands of angry drivers. This created a traffic jam along most of the Sea Link, which seemed at last to have become part of the city. Often couples on motorbikes park by the bridge. They are not there to ride on it—two-wheelers are prohibited. They are not seeking intimacy, for the choice spot for that is the rocks around the headland at low tide. Nor are they there for the ambience, for the ground nearby features broken promenades, weeds and rats. They are there for the view. When you see its sweeping cords silhouetted against a dusky sky, the Sea Link is as close to a wonder as Mumbai can offer. And whether this ritual demonstrates low expectations or hope is in the minds of the beholders alone. http://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21568582-half-built-bridge-symbolises-urgency-and-frustrations-improving-indias
  5. In case some of you haven,t heard just yet, apparently, a man named Joe Stack flew a small plane into an IRS building in Austin Texas. The man was desperate, and had a few "issues" with the federal gov't. He left behind a suicide letter that is well written and well thought out. Not what you'd expect from someone who's on the verge of killing themselves! Here's a link to that letter! It's a bit long, but well worth it! http://www.prisonplanet.com/alleged-letter-written-by-austin-plane-crash-pilot.html
  6. when someone has a chance - explain how to link images I just saw these 2 great images that I've never seen before The Ritz-Carlton: http://montoit.cyberpresse.ca/habitation/articles/6127-Condotels-vie-de-palace-pour-coproprietaires.html Crystal de la montagne will have an illuminated ball in the spire!!! http://montoit.cyberpresse.ca/habitation/immobilier/projets_domiciliaires/articles/6129-Condotels-la-demesure-au-Crystal-de-la-Montagne.html
  7. Its a nice documentary. Anyone who likes fashion show see it. Seeing most of us on here on gentlemen. You can get it for your girlfriends or wives, if they like fashion. Who ever interested just pm me and when I can I will send you the link.
  8. (Courtesy of CBC) Read more by clicking the link. It would be something to see, but would it actually happen?
  9. here is the link: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680967/the-top-10-smartest-cities-in-north-america#1
  10. Bonjour a tous, Taking a quick Super Bowl break to post something I've wanted to share with you for a few days. Henry Aubin wrote in The Gazette what was presented as an article on the construction of "tall" new rental buildings downtown and questioning the wisdom of allowing this. I personally believe he's a little all over the place in his article and doesn't quite make a coherent argument. I think in the end what annoys me is that the how tall should we build question seems, for some reason, to often be present in this city. Anyhow here's the link you guys judge for yourselves. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/high+high/4189941/story.html
  11. Didn't know where to post this, but it makes the most sense here... Trudeau Airport was mentioned on Jeopardy last night... here's the link to youtube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hHKgaqL5d8 The category was International Airports... they were given the name of the airport and they had to answer the city it is located in. The category begins at 7:08. Trudeau was worth $1000.
  12. Women: Montreal (Courtesy of MSN Travel) There is more to the list, if you click on the link above.
  13. Check this link out! I swear you will come in your pants!!!! Vraiment hallucinant!! http://www.swtor.com/media/trailers/deceived-cinematic-trailer
  14. A few months ago I've installed "Graph-IView- Montréal 2025" on my hard disk but now the downloaded program doesn't want to work. Can somebody provide me with a link where I can download it again please? It seems it is no longer available on the city webpages.
  15. Because we can all dream while we wait to become millionaires right? Post pictures and/if possible a link to your dream house/apartment At the moment I'm in love with this one: http://passerelle.centris.ca/Redirect2.aspx?CodeDest=C21&NoMls=MT1409486&Source=WWW.REALTOR.CA&Langue=E
  16. Hey everyone, Last summer I came across some videos on YouTube of tourists filming their experiences in the city - some were really great, and it was nice seeing the city from someone elses perspective, especially people who had never been here before. I started saving the ones I really liked. A few weeks ago Tourisme Montreal started releasing their ads for the 375th celebrations. Here are the first two: Une ville qu'on aime, ca se fete. - YouTube Honestly, what the fuck? Lequipe de hockey le plus titree? Des ruelles pleines de vie? Im so tired of them painting the city with such a shallow brush. Theyve never properly captured the spirit of Montreal. And the Toronto one? Cringe. So, I've been working on this for a little while. Below is a link to a short film I made and posted to YouTube today. Nearly all of the footage is from Tourists/YouTubers/Vloggers. If Tourisme Montreal can't explain our city to the world, maybe outsiders can. I used the music from Tourisme Montreal's first ad.* This one features only English-speaking tourists. Ive saved a bunch of French vlogs as well; when I get time Ill make one in French. I have some truly incredible footage for that one. Let me know what you think - share it, send it wherever and to whoever you like. Maybe we can get it to go viral, and get some attention from people who are wondering what city to check out next. Because it is mostly amateur footage, Ive added subtitles in case you can't understand some of the lines.
  17. (All pics taken by me, november 10th, 2013. Link to complete Flickr set)
  18. Technically it is not BMO Harris yet, only in a few months. Seeing they bought Marshall & Ilsley of Wisconsin, that have multiple foreclosures all over the states. Link You can find 2 acres of land in Arizona for like US$24,900. There is also some properties in Florida (nothing in Naples or Miami). There is even land for sale in Vegas
  19. Voici un remix très inspirant je trouve de la chanson "Hometown Glory" de Adele par Malicious, un rappeur anglophone d'ici. J'aime particulièrement le vidéo car on voit notre beau centre-ville... Montréal est une belle ville! Il faut être fier... Elle n'est peut-être pas haute mais elle est unique! ----------------- Here's a very inspiring remix of the song "Hometown Glory" by Adele by Malicious. I really love this video because we get a great vue of the Montreal downtown! LINK:
  20. At A.T. Kearney, our Global Cities Index (GCI) examines a comprehensive list of 84 cities on every continent, measuring how globally engaged they are across 26 metrics in five dimen*sions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement (see Appendix: Global Cities Index Methodology). Since we began the GCI in 2008, we've continually refreshed our metrics to reflect emerging trends, analyzed how cities evolve along each of them, and developed insights about how a city can become more global. ... Montréal ranks 30th ahead of Vancouver and many other important cities like Zurich , Roma , Munich , Houston and Atlanta . Click on the following link for the report : http://www.atkearney.com/documents/10192/4461492/Global+Cities+Present+and+Future-GCI+2014.pdf/3628fd7d-70be-41bf-99d6-4c8eaf984cd5
  21. I was bored and decided to make this list. Is this normal? I find it a bit scary. November 18, 2:00am, 3484 Hutchinson No injuries News link November 17, 7:39pm, NDG 1 dead, 1 injured (fire was declared accidental) News link November 16, 4:20am, St Urbain at St Viateur No injuries News link November 16, 4:15am, Nouba restaurant, St Laurent at Maguire No injuries News link November 5, 4:00am, St. Michel at Louvain No injuries News link November 4, 11:08pm, Joliette St, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve No injuries (vacant building) News link November 4, 2:30am, Iberville at Rachel No injuries News link November 3, 1:40am, Chambord at Mont Royal No injuries (fire spread from cars) News link October 29, 4:25am, Cafe Bistro Charland, 2347 Charland near de Lormier No injuries News link October 28, 4:15am, Peaches Bistro, St Michel No injuries News link October 28, 4:05am, Perandello Sport Bar on Robert at St Michel No injuries News link
  22. La Gazette se permet un méga liste d'infrastructure en réparation et à venir. Je copie l'article ici, mais je vous averti, elle est longue cette liste. Source: http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=1250a439-510a-4947-8b97-ee3995f04682 What construction holiday? After years of infrastructure neglect, a quiet revolution is under way to overhaul Quebec's roads and bridges DAVID JOHNSTON The Gazette Saturday, August 02, 2008 This summer's construction holiday has turned out to be a holiday in name only. Sort of like the summer of 2008 so far. One image dominates. It is of the eastbound Highway 20, at the Turcot interchange. Orange pylons are configured into one giant funnel, forcing motorists into a single lane up through the interchange to the Ville Marie Expressway downtown. Why one lane? Because construction work is going on. During the construction break. The 41-year-old Turcot, slated for demolition over six years beginning next July, has been getting some geriatric care. The ensuing traffic bottlenecks have been stretching back the full length of the Turcot yards. Cue in frequent bursts of intense rain, and you get a picture of the summer of 2008. But it isn't just Montreal. It's the same in all of Quebec, as far as the supposed construction holiday is concerned. Normally, the drills and the jackhammers are silent during the last two weeks of July, and traffic flows freely. But not this year. Because after years of infrastructure neglect, a not-so-quiet revolution is under way, thanks to the Charest government and the federal infrastructure-support program conceived by the former federal Liberal government. An unprecedented $2.7 billion in provincial money and $3.2 billion overall is being spent on road and bridge infrastructure renewal in 1,800 locations throughout Quebec this year. "This is a record year for Quebec," said Nicole Ste-Marie of the Quebec Transport Department. But this is only the beginning of something much bigger. A three-year overhaul of the Mercier Bridge began in May. A six-year reconstruction of the entire Turcot interchange is to begin July next year. This fall, the first actual work on the proposed new Dorval interchange is expected to begin. And then there's the proposed new downtown-airport shuttle waiting in the planning wings. And that's just the western suburbs of Montreal. The Mohawks of Kahnawake saw all this coming. Five Mohawk firms are currently doing repair work on the Mercier. The local band council looked at the Mercier and Turcot projects and put two and two together and came to the realization that commuter traffic is going to be very difficult between the south side of the Mercier and downtown Montreal over the next six years. As a result, the band council has been lobbying for a commuter-rail station for Kahnawake on the Delson-Candiac line. "We're afraid a lot of our kids going into CEGEP and university in Montreal are going to look at the traffic and say, 'Well, forget about it,' " said Joe Delaronde, a band-council official. Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau said he has received assurances that measures will be taken to minimize disruption for motorists when the Dorval project gets under way. But he said Montreal has no choice but to move ahead with improving the state of the rail and road infrastructure serving the airport. Things aren't just bad; they're embarrassingly bad, he says. "Can you imagine? You come from Europe. You're finally out of the airport. You're in this taxi or bus, and you're stopped in traffic under the railway bridge (beside Dorval Circle) and you look up and you see screens to catch any concrete that might fall down on you." The September 2005 collapse of the de la Concorde Blvd. overpass in Laval, which killed five people, showed that the consequences of infrastructure neglect can be deadly. Since the Concorde incident, the provincial government has done a thorough review of Quebec's infrastructure and established new priorities for repairs and new undertakings. The Gazette today publishes a map describing 10 of the most important projects in and around the Montreal region, either under way or on the near time horizon. - - - 1. TURCOT INTERCHANGE Background: In June 2007, the provincial government announced a plan to tear down the elevated interchange and replace it over six years, beginning next summer, at a cost of $1.5 billion. Most of the new Turcot network will be built at surface level, although there will be a few elevated ramps - notably linking the new Highway 20 with the higher ground of the Décarie and Ville Marie Expressways. Highway 20 through the Turcot yards will be rebuilt more to the north, closer to the Falaise St. Jacques escarpment. That, in turn, will make the Turcot yards contiguous with adjoining industrial properties along the Lachine Canal, and make it more attractive for redevelopment. What's new: Various interchange ramps have been undergoing reinforcement work this summer, creating traffic bottlenecks. Provincial environmental hearings are likely to begin in the fall. The government has begun negotiations to buy land required to carry out the interchange modernization. Work is to begin next July. About 180 housing units are to be demolished. Tenants who are dislodged will receive at least three months' rent as compensation. 2. NOTRE DAME ST. E. Background: In development limbo since the late 1960s, a nine-kilometre stretch of Notre Dame St. E. was finally given the green light for modernization last November. A new "urban boulevard" was approved over the other option, a sunken Décarie Expressway-like highway. Quebec will pay $625 million of the $750-million cost, the city of Montreal $125 million. What's new: Public hearings were held last winter to work out operational details. As a result, changes were announced in May. Among other things, traffic-light synchronization will be altered to let traffic move with fewer red-light stops; one lane will be reserved for carpoolers; the entire nine-kilometre stretch will be subject to photo radar. Construction is to begin in October. 3. HIGHWAY 25 Background: Construction of a toll bridge between the Rivière des Prairies district of Montreal and the Duvernay district of Laval will link Highway 40 in Montreal to Highway 440 in Laval. In June 2007, the Quebec government announced a consortium headed by an engineering subsidiary of Macquarie Bank Ltd. of Australia had won the bidding to build and operate the $400-million bridge as a public-private partnership. The span is slated to open in 2011. Government regulations have set a $2.40 cap in 2011 dollars for a one-way trip over the bridge for an ordinary car, over the 35-year term of the PPP deal. What's new: Dynamite work took place in the spring on the Laval side of the proposed bridge. In June, environmental groups lost a court bid to shut down the project. On July 15, dynamiting took place on the Montreal side. In recent weeks, a lot of bridge materials have been delivered to the job site. 4. DORVAL Background: There are two projects on the horizon for Dorval. One is the proposed airport shuttle between downtown Montreal and Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport. The other is the Dorval Circle modernization. Both have been on the drawing board for more than a decade. What's new: The airport-shuttle project is stalled. Different levels of government are still trying to work out a financing agreement. All parties, however, agree that the shuttle is desirable and should have its own dedicated rail lines. So the plan is to eventually add two new rail lines north of Highway 20, parallel to existing CP and CN lines. But there is still no consensus on whether to use Central Station or Lucien L'Allier Station as the downtown terminal. Cost estimates vary from $600 million to $800 million. As for the Dorval Circle project, the provincial government passed a decree in December setting aside $210 million for the new interchange, to be known as Carrefour Dorval. The overhaul will see Trudeau airport connected to Highway 20 via a new link that will be reserved for airport traffic. The new link will pass in front of the Hilton Hotel and run through where the Budget Rent-a-Car property is now situated. It will rise over the rail lines situated between Budget and Highway 20 and connect to the highway near the Novartis building. Budget is to relocate to a new site under the plan. Highways 20 and 520 (Côte de Liesse Rd.) will also get new interchange connections. As for Dorval Circle itself, it will end up serving only local traffic. Highway 20 traffic between Pointe Claire and Lachine will continue to run over the circle in overpass fashion. Engineers are putting final touches to the Carrefour Dorval project and an official announcement is likely for the fall. Work could also begin this fall, sources say. 5. HIGHWAY 15 Background: Work began in April to completely rebuild the northbound Laurentian Autoroute lanes between Mirabel and St. Jérôme. The new surface will be done in concrete. The southbound lanes between the two towns were redone last summer. What's new: Work is proceeding on schedule and is expected to end Nov. 21. 6. HIGHWAY 13 Background: Work began in April to completely rebuild the southbound lanes of Highway 13 on Montreal Island between Highway 40 and the Mille Îles River. Work is also being done on the Louis Bisson Bridge that spans the river. Work on the northbound lanes between the 40 and the river was done last summer. What's new: Work is proceeding as planned. It is scheduled to end Sept. 30. 7. MERCIER BRIDGE Background: On June 16, the federal and provincial governments announced a plan to renovate the Mercier Bridge through November 2011. Work began in April. Federal officials said the Mercier modernization represents the largest bridge-repair project in Canadian history. Work is to be carried out in two phases, with a consortium of Mohawk firms doing $66 million of work in the first phase. Bidding will open next year for the second phase. What's new: In recent weeks, Mohawk ironworkers have been concentrating on the reinforcement of existing gusset plates under the bridge deck. They have also been installing new gusset plates. These plates support the joints where horizontal, vertical and diagonal beams meet. Later, ironworkers will bring in hydraulic jacks and start replacing individual rusted beams where necessary. About half of all the main diagonal support beams are to be replaced on the upstream bridge, which carries southbound traffic. This bridge opened in 1934. The downstream bridge, which carries northbound traffic, opened in 1963; no reinforcement work is required on it. Similarly, only the upstream span will be getting a new deck. All ramps linking the South Shore to both the 1934 and 1963 bridges are to be reinforced and given new decks. 8. HIGHWAY 35 Background: Progress has been slow with the longstanding plan to extend Highway 35 from St. Jean sur Richelieu to the Vermont border. Converting the 39-kilometre stretch of secondary Highway 133 south of St. Jean into a primary autoroute would finally give Montreal an expressway link to Interstate 89. What's new: Last August, the Quebec government passed a decree allowing for the agricultural dezoning required to carry out the project. The federal government has promised $57 million in infrastructure money for the $300-million project. A federal environmental assessment is being done. If, as expected, the process results in the feds giving the project a green light, preliminary land-preparation work could begin in October. 9. GALIPEAULT BRIDGE Background: Work began in May to rebuild the deck of the eastbound lanes and add a third lane to accommodate growing volumes of off-island commuter traffic. The Galipeault, like the Mercier Bridge, consists of two separate spans, side by side. The southern of the two, built in 1924, handles eastbound traffic between Île Perrot and Ste. Anne de Bellevue. The northern bridge, built in 1964, handles westbound traffic. While work on the southern bridge takes place, eastbound traffic is being diverted onto the northern span. What's new: Work is proceeding smoothly. 10. HIGHWAY 30 Background: After many delays, a plan to complete construction of the South Shore ring road was announced in the fall of 2006. There are two unfinished stretches to complete: a section through dezoned farm land between Candiac and Ste. Catherine, and a section between Châteauguay and the town of Vaudrueuil-Dorion. What's new: Work on the 13-kilometre Candiac-Ste. Catherine link began in early June after a political agreement was reached between the provincial government and the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake over how to proceed with settling a land-claim issue. As for the section west of Châteauguay, the government in late June announced that a Spanish-led consortium had won the bidding to build it as a part of a public-private partnership. A Canadian arm of the Spanish engineering firm Acciona won the competition. The 42-kilometre western link will see toll bridges built over the Beauharnois Canal and St. Lawrence River. Final details on the financing and construction are to be announced in September. The completed Highway 30 is expected to open in 2012. [email protected]